15 Febrero 2017 16:53
German tennis is not happy, and this time the match results are not to blame. The organisers of the Fed Cup in Hawaii made a blunder by playing the Nazi-era version of Germany's national anthem before a match between Germany and the USA.
Nazi-era version of German anthem played before tennis match in US.
'It was the worst experience that ever happened to me – horrifying and shocking,' said Germany's Andrea Petkovic, who had to play straight after the incident. On top of everything, she went on to lose her match.
This incident occurred just before the first singles match. The male soloist sang the first verse of the Nazi-era version of the national anthem, which opens with the famous phrase: 'Deutschland, Deutschland über alles' (Germany, Germany, above all in the world).
This verse was dropped after the Second World War because of its association with Adolf Hitler. 'This is a scandal and inexcusable, it's very disrespectful,' said the German team's captain, Barbara Rittner. 'I could have cried, because in the Fed Cup it is always a sacred moment, a goosebumps moment, to hear the anthem.'
The United States Tennis Association had no explanation for the error and could only apologise to the German team and their fans in the Royal Lahaina Resort in Maui. The association also tweeted an official apology:
The USTA extends a sincere apology to the German Fed Cup team & fans 4 the outdated National Anthem. This mistake will not occur again. pic.twitter.com/4LyG3ACe5u
— USTA (@usta) February 11, 2017
For Petkovic, whose match the incident preceded, the cock-up was unforgivable. 'It was the epitome of ignorance and I never felt more disrespected in my whole life,' said the 29-year-old. 'This is 2017 in America. How can something like that happen? It's not Timbuktu.'
Although the German team and spectators tried to sing over the stanza – using words from the more-acceptable third verse: 'Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit' (Unity, justice and freedom) – there wasn't much they could do to drown out the opera singer's amplified voice.
The words to all three verses of the German national anthem, the 'Song of Germany', were written in 1841 – long before the Nazis. But the first stanza was frequently sung in the Third Reich alongside the now-banned anthem of the National Socialist Party: the 'Horst-Wessel-Lied'.